Thursday, November 21, 2019
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IL Assembly overrides a student loan rights veto

The Illinois House voted 98-16 yesterday evening to override Gov Bruce Rauner’s veto of a student loan bill of rights introduced by Rep Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat.

The new law in Illinois will impose some of the strictest regulations in the country on companies that service student loans, “ensuring that they provide borrowers the best possible terms for repaying their student loans.”

“The student loan crisis is a huge drain on our state’s economy and on the next generation of Illinoisans,” Mr Guzzardi said in a statement. “Today, we came together to make sure that millions of Illinoisans get the most favorable terms for paying those loans back.”

The Illinois Senate passed a resolution to override Mr Rauner’s veto about two weeks ago, and now that both chambers have done so, the bill will become law in the state.

Specifically, the new law places many requirements on loan servicing companies. For instance, they can’t count a payment as late if it was received at an address the company used within the last 90 days. They have to be upfront and honest about fees and payment schedules. They have to make sure borrowers understand what all their repayment options are, such as forbearance.

The new law, I hope, will make it easier for recent college graduates to repay their student loans without going into a state of financial ruin or messing up their credit score for life at the hands of deceptive or predatory lenders, servicing companies, or even colleges.

The loan servicing companies are a small piece of the puzzle for tackling the student loan crisis in America, but Illinois’s approach is a good start. And you have to start somewhere.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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